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A breastfeeding pillow is often near the top of breastfeeding essentials lists. But there are so many to choose from.
As you stare at page after page of all the different options, how do you choose the best breastfeeding pillow for you?
Every mom is different, so the top-rated nursing pillow may not be the best nursing pillow to help you and your baby breastfeed comfortably..
I thought of every different scenario I could come up with that might affect your choice of a special pillow for breastfeeding. I spent hours researching them, so you don’t have to.
WHAT IS A NURSING PILLOW?
A nursing pillow is specially designed to support your baby during breastfeeding sessions. It allows you to have your baby at the right height so that you don’t have to hunch over while you are feeding your baby.
I have always said that breastfeeding should not cause back pain.
A breastfeeding pillow usually has some curve to it to conform to your body. This can help keep it close to you.
DO I NEED A NURSING PILLOW?
There are so many things that you need to purchase when you have a new baby. It is no surprise that many moms ask, “Do I need a breastfeeding pillow?”
The truth is that moms have breastfed for a gazillion years without special pillows. They have made do with regular bed pillows and throw pillows.
However, most moms find that a pillow specially designed for breastfeeding can make nursing so much more comfortable. It definitely falls into the category of a “great to have item.”
- Even though babies are tiny, your arms can get tired holding them throughout all of those frequent feedings. Newborns eat at least eight times in each 24 hours. An average feeding can last up to an hour. That is eight hours of holding your baby!
- Having your baby supported with a good nursing pillow can allow you to focus on other things, like getting a good latch.
- Some pillows provide you with back support.
Many moms find that they don’t need a nursing pillow when their baby gets older. Other women find that the continued support helps keep them comfortable throughout their breastfeeding journey.
HOW MUCH IS A NURSING PILLOW?
You can get a nursing pillow for free and just pay shipping. Just use the code BFC1.
The average cost of a nursing pillow is $40-50. The range was $18 to $190. The Clair de Lune Nursing Pillow was the most expensive.
If you are the crafty type and have a sewing machine and extra fabric and stuffing laying around your house you could make one virtually for free.
HOW DO YOU USE A NURSING PILLOW?
A good pillow will allow you to nurse in different positions. But of course, you don’t need a nursing pillow for certain positions like side-lying.
You position the pillow so it is nice and close to you. You place your baby on top of it and use all those latching tips I talk about in 13 Life Changing Breastfeeding Latch Tricks.
HOW DO I CHOOSE THE BEST PILLOW FOR BREASTFEEDING?
You want to think about how a breastfeeding pillow will help you and make you more comfortable during nursing sessions.
- Do you want back support?
- Do you want to be able to secure the pillow to you with a buckle or strap?
- Do you find the idea of buckling and unbuckling a pillow a hassle?
- Does your baby have reflux? A pillow that helps keep his head higher than the rest of his body might be the best choice for that scenario.
- Will you be breastfeeding twins?
If you haven’t got any idea of what you should be looking for then keep reading. I’ve got you covered. I have the best options for different sized moms and different situations.
BEST NURSING PILLOW
Fun fact – the Original Boppy was made to position babies. It kind of became a breastfeeding pillow by accident (Source).
My overall favorite pillow for breastfeeding for the average mom is made by Boppy, but it’s not their original Boppy.
The Boppy Best Latch is the breastfeeding pillow I would have designed.
- It has two different levels of firmness.
- The firm side is ideal for wobbly newborns
- A softer side works well as your baby grows
- It has a detachable strap to keep the pillow in close. But if you don’t need that or find it a hassle it easily detaches.
- Machine washable
Ways the Boppy Best Latch Could Be Improved
There is only the one fabric choice. Although it is different on the two sides.
What do moms say about the Boppy Best Latch?
It has a 4.5 star review on Amazon from over 260 ratings.
- Love the wider opening.
- Love how tall and thick it is.
- Plus size mamas really like it.
BEST TWIN NURSING PILLOW
The My Brest Friend Supportive Nursing Pillow For Twins is the clear winner.
- The generously padded back gives you solid support.
- The firmness of this pillow means that you can place both babies on it and while you are concentrating on latching the first baby you won’t have to worry about your other baby rolling off the pillow.
- It has an attached pocket where you can put your phone or water bottle.
- Machine washable cover
- A variety of slipcover choices available
What do moms say about the My Brest Friend Twin Nursing Pillow?
It has a 4.4 star review on Amazon from over 210 ratings.
- The best pillow for tandem feeding twins.
- Provides excellent head support for the babies.
- Very supportive.
- Fits both babies comfortably.
BEST NURSING PILLOW FOR LARGE BREASTS
Mothers with larger breasts often find that the football hold position works well for them. The Feeding Friend Self-Inflatable Pillow works especially well with it’s triangular shape. You can also squish out some of the air to make it just the right size for your breasts.
BEST NURSING PILLOW FOR SMALL BREASTS OR TALL MOMS
Moms who are smaller breasted will appreciate the thickness of the Leachco Natural Boost.
- It has a second detachable pillow that makes this the thickest nursing pillow at 11.75 inches.
- It easily flips from side to side which will be convenient when moving baby to your other breast.
What do moms say about the Leachco Natural Boost?
It has a 3.9 star review on Amazon from over 280 ratings.
- Stays in place
- The booster gets baby in close.
- Perfect for tall moms.
BEST BREASTFEEDING PILLOW FOR C SECTION
The Feeding Friend Self-Inflatable Pillow is perfect for breastfeeding in the football hold. That is the position that is preferred by C-Section mamas.
BEST NURSING PILLOW FOR PETITE MOM
The petite mom will want to base her decision on her breast size.
If she has smaller or average size breast the Boppy Best Latch will be a good choice.
If she has larger sized breasts she will want a thinner pillow.
The Kushies Nursing Pillow is the thinnest at 4 inches.
- Soft 100% flannel cover
- Cover is removable for washing
- Available in a wide variety of patterns.
BEST NURSING PILLOW FOR PLUS SIZE MOM
The Boppy Best Latch is an excellent option for plus sized mamas. The belt is adjustable up to 52” or can be removed entirely.
Another good option for a plus size nursing pillow is the Medela Maternity Pillow and Breastfeeding Nursing Pillow In One.
- It is filled with micro pearls which makes it one of the lightest pillows at 1.81 pounds.
- It’s 25.6 inch length combines with the micro pearl filling means you can adjust it to comfortably fit a plus size mama.
- It’s one of the more versatile pillows to since it can be used during pregnancy.
BEST NURSING PILLOW FOR TRAVEL
If you really depend on a breastfeeding pillow to keep you comfortable and relaxed you will appreciate the Feeding Friend Nursing Pillow. Let’s be honest, no mom wants to be carting a big nursing pillow with her when she goes on airplane trips.
Moms will appreciate how compact this nursing pillow is as well as the self-inflating feature. This pillow will be convenient for any trips, even if she is just taking her baby across town to visit the grandparents.
- The Feeding Friend rolls up to a compact 6” X 7”
- Comes with a bag to store it in.
- It self-inflates. How cool is that?
BEST ORGANIC NURSING PILLOW
For the mom who is trying to minimize her precious baby’s exposure to chemicals the Nesting Pillow has a 100% organic cotton cover that is machine washable. It also is made with organic buckwheat hulls as the filling.
Why You Might Not Love This Nursing Pillow
This pillow is the heaviest of all those that are recommended. It weighs in at about 6 pounds.
It is also one of the pricier options.
But if organic is your jam then this is the nursing pillow for you.
What moms say about the Organic Nursing Pillow?
It has a 4.7 rating from over 100 ratings on Amazon.
- Love the density.
- It’s so supportive.
- It molds to your body and your baby perfectly.
- Worth the splurge.
ADJUSTABLE NURSING PILLOW
If you are looking for a pillow that you can adjust the height, then the Infantino Elevate Adjustable Nursing Pillow is designed for just that.
- It has a butterfly shape with three layers anchored to the center bolster.
- This allows for flexibility for different positions and as your baby grows.
- It is machine washable.
It has a 4 out of 5 star review on Amazon. Moms love so many things about it.
- So functional!
- I almost gave up breastfeeding because other pillows didn’t work for me.
- Great for tall moms who are smaller chested.
BEST NURSING PILLOW FOR BACK SUPPORT
The popular My Brest Friend Deluxe Nursing Pillow is the winner here with the firm section of foam that wraps all the way around you.
It has been rated almost 2000 times and has a 4.6 star rating on Amazon.
It comes in a variety of patterns and materials.
BEST BUDGET NURSING PILLOW
The Baby Nursing Pillow was the least expensive on Amazon.
But you can get one for even less. How does free sound?
You can get a free nursing pillow at Nursing Pillow if you use the code BFC1.
You do have to pay shipping, but that is less than any of the good nursing pillows I could find.
DIY NURSING PILLOW
Another low cost option is to make your own breastfeeding pillow.
If you know your way around a sewing machine you can sew a DIY nursing pillow. If you are like a lot of seamstresses who tend to collect fabric and hang onto leftover supplies, you may even already have the supplies.
MOST EXPENSIVE NURSING PILLOW
I don’t know if it is the best, but the the most expensive breastfeeding pillow I came across was the Clair de Lune Baby Feeding Pillow. It’s open shape would lend itself well to plus size moms.
You can buy an extra pillow cover or two so that if you have to wash one you will have one to use.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEST BREASTFEEDING PILLOW
Moms are so lucky to have so many nursing pillow options. When it comes to this breastfeeding essential, one size (or pillow) does not fit all.
Let me know in the comments which pillow you chose.
Andrea Tran RN, MA, IBCLC
Andrea has been working with new families as an RN for over 35 years and a Lactation Consultant for over 25 years.
She has her MA in Health and Wellness with a focus in Lactation.